On Aug 2, 2014, I received this email from Google:
"Someone recently used your password to try to sign in to your Google Account. This person was using an application such as an email client or mobile device.
We prevented the sign-in attempt in case this was a hijacker trying to access your account. Please review the details of the sign-in attempt:
Saturday, August 2, 2014 11:42:07 AM UTC
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IP Address: 188.8.131.52
Location: Dnepropetrovsk, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine"
I immediately changed my password and added characters, such as "@" and "&," to make it more secure.
If that weren't bad enough, last month I received a telephone call from someone claiming to be from my bank, questioning my mortgage. This info is readily available online. The caller asked to verify who I am by stating my home address and my Social Secu
I asked if she had that information in front of her on her computer screen and she said yes. So I said that I don't know you and to verify I'd like to play a game. Since you have the SS number in front of you, what is the first digit? Then I'll give you the second, you can give me the third, and so on.
Well, she said she didn't have time to play my game. I hung up.
About five days later the same person called. She wanted to verify who I am by my stating my home address and my Social Security number.
I reminded her that she called about five days ago and that I was the one who wanted to play a little game. She laughed and said she remembered talking to me. She promised to take my telephone number off her list. But she probably will pass it along to someone else to try later with another scam.
It is easier for a criminal to sit in front of a computer screen in the Ukraine or make telephone calls trying to steal your money than using a gun in a bank robbery attempt. If something goes wrong with the bank robbery, the criminal could get shot, jailed or killed.
Why take the chance when the criminal can use the computer and the telephone searching worldwide for gullible people? Be careful.
There have been many attempts to try and break into my email. Lots of times my computer was attacked by a virus, Trojan horse, and all other kinds of nasty programs.
Keep the computer up to date, and install anti-virus and other protective programs. One slip-up, and you have a problem. Go to norsecorp.com to see live attacks. It's amazing and frightening.
As a financial planner with Raymond James, I take very seriously my efforts to prevent fraudulent attempts to compromise our client accounts and information. I hope you do too.
Jim Zientara, financial planner with Raymond James Financial Services, can be reached at 941-750-6818 or at www.thefinancialplanningguy.info. Any opinions are those of Jim Zientara and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.